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Friday, July 20, 2007

McBride Math, again

by folkbum

I have generally left Jessica McBride alone since The Unpleasantness, as I do kind of feel sorry for how she was treated by WTMJ-AM. I never asked for or expected he to be fired, and I think TMJ could have done a much better job handling the situation. But sometimes she makes it too easy, and I just can't stop myself.

McBride posted this pithy item last night:
Liberal logic
When Al-Qaida wasn't in Iraq, most Democrats in Washington wanted to invade it.

Now that Al-Qaida is in Iraq, most Democrats in Washington want to leave.

Who's taking their eye off the ball?
Question: How many of you think that McBride believed, in 2002, that there was no al Qaeda in Iraq? How many of you think that McBride listened to those opposing the invasion when they warned that creating chaos in Iraq would draw al Qaeda in? Anyone? Anyone? I thought so.

But this is not about McBride's past; it's about her math. We've talked about McBride's math before. A year ago, in response to overwhelming votes across the state in referenda to start withdrawing troops from Iraq, McBride decided to re-write the lede: "More voters in 30 Wisconsin communities voted Tuesday to stay the course in Iraq than wanted the troops to withdraw," she wrote. "It was purely a symbolic message, but a heartfelt one." See, that's funny, because there were 33 referenda that day, not 30. She decided to leave out the votes from Madison, Shorewood, and LaCrosse in order to get a majority of voters that day selecting "stay the course." (Even then, 22 of her 30 communities voted for withdrawal.)

Her selective math shows in the current questionable post: When she says that "most Democrats in Washington wanted to invade" Iraq, she's just wrong. If you look at the roll call, you'll note that 81 House Democrats voted for the Iraq War Resolution, and 126 voted against it. Twenty-nine Democratic Senators voted for it, and 21 against. (These totals do not include Vermont independents Rep. Bernie Sanders or Sen. Jim Jeffords, who both caucused with the Democrats and who both voted against the resolution).

That makes a majority (147 to 110) of Democrats in Washington who voted against giving the presidsent the authority to invade Iraq.

That's still a relatively close vote, sure; but even many of those who voted in the affirmative on that resolution made it clear, unlike the way McBride phrases it, that they did not "want[] to invade" Iraq. Many of the Senators voting yes, for example, reviewed the provisions of the resolution that required President Bush to certify all kinds of things (things left uncertified when the bombing started) and hoping that war could be avoided. Few Democrats--maybe the Lieberman variety--approached war with Iraq as a positive development.

So McBride tries vainly to understand "liberal logic," as she calls it. The answer, of course, is that it's only hard to understand if you use McBride Math first.

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